Jim Weaver McKown Barnes, of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, was born and grew up in
Summerfield, Oklahoma. He received his BA from Southeastern State
College in Durant, OK (now Southeastern Oklahoma State
University) in 1964 and his MA (1965) and Ph.D. (1972) from the University
of Arkansas. From 2003 to 2006 he served as Distinguished Professor of English at Brigham Young University.
He taught at Truman State University from 1970 to 2003, where he was Professor
of Comparative Literature and Writer-in-Residence. Jim married Cora Barnes McKown,
artist and designer, in 2006. He is at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Hacienda McKown), and near Atoka, Oklahoma (Flying M Ranch).
Jim was the founding editor of the Chariton Review Press and from 1975 through 2006 published The Chariton Review. He is a contributing editor to
the Pushcart Prize.
He has published over 500 poems and translations in more than 100 journals, including
Review, The American Scholar, Prairie
Schooner and Georgia Review.
He chaired the
PEN Center USA West translation prize committee in 2006 and has sat on several National Endowment for the Arts poetry committees. He was chosen as Poet Laureate of Oklahoma for the years 2009 and 2010.
Jim Barnes has read his work at, among other places, Simon's Rock College,
San Jose State University, the University of South Carolina, Villa Serbelloni (Bellagio, Italy),
Brigham Young University, University of Missouri at Columbia, Duke University, University of Arizona,
Stephens College, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska, Oklahoma State University,
Goethe Haus (Berlin), University of Oregon, University of California - Berkeley, Riverside, and
Santa Cruz, Cal Poly Tech - San Luis Obispo, Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France), Villa Walberta
(Munich, Germany), Charles University (Prague), Ostrava University (Czech Republic), Olomouc
University (Czech Republic), Viola Theatre (Prague) and University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Jim received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing
Fellowship in 1978 and the Columbia University Translation
Award for his translation of Dagmar Nick's Zeugnis und
Zeichen (Summons and Signs) in 1980. In 1989 he was awarded
the St. Louis Poetry Center's
Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Award, and in 1990 he
a Bellagio Residency Fellowship by
the Rockefeller Foundation for the purpose of beginning
his translations of Dagmar Nick's poetry. He held a second Rockefeller Bellagio Residency Fellowship in 2003.
In 1992 Jim was a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence for the
University of Maryland Far East Division. In 1993 Jim received the
Book Award for The Sawdust War, and he was awarded a
Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Switzerland in 1993-94.
In 1998, On Native Ground : Memoirs and Impressions was named a finalist for the
Oklahoma Book Award in non-fiction and in the poetry category for Paris.
Jim has been the Featured Poet at the Paris
Writers Workshop and at the
13th Franco-Anglais Poetry Translation Festival. In 1995 he was
the Munich Translator-in-Residence at Villa Walberta, Germany, and since then he has held two
Carmargo Foundation Fellowships in Cassis, France. In 1996 he was the U. S. Department of State poet to the Prague Writer's Festival..
In 1998 and in 2000, Jim was awarded Academie Schloß Solitude
Fellowships in Stuttgart, Germany and received an American
Book Award for On Native Ground.
In 2002, he was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in the poetry category
for On a Wing of the Sun.